Welcome to the United Nations

Humanitarian finance and peacebuilding

The Addis Agenda acknowledges that development finance can contribute to reducing vulnerabilities and enable countries to prevent or combat situations of crisis related to conflict or natural disasters.

Humanitarian financing needs and trends

An estimated 87 per cent of people in extreme poverty reside in countries affected by fragility, environmental vulnerability or both. Financial requirements for humanitarian response plans coordinated by the United Nations reached $24.9 billion in 2018, a drastic increase from the $6.1 billion required in 2008. However, the 2018 plans received funding for only 60.5 per cent of requirements ($15.1 billion).

read more
Nearly three quarters of people targeted to receive assistance in 2018 were in countries affected by humanitarian crises for seven years or more. Recognizing that development is the most effective way to build resilience, a longer-term approach to addressing humanitarian needs should include development investments. Donors have increasingly adopted multi-year plans and funding, in line with Grand Bargain commitments.15 In 2019, multi-year humanitarian response plans will be in place in 11 countries.
In addition, partnerships with local and national actors have been strengthened to make humanitarian assistance as local as possible, and as international as necessary. Cash is more routinely used as a response modality. In 2016, cash transfer programming reached 10 per cent of global humanitarian aid. Better tools are in place to enable more accurate measurement of how much funding is going to whom, including through a more transparent Financial Tracking Service for publishing financial data. As at 1 May 2018, 44 out of 59 Grand Bargain signatories were publishing open data using the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard.
Coherence of development and humanitarian financing

The increasing focus of international public financing flows on humanitarian crises is a direct response to crises and shocks affecting progress and gains in sustainable development. The increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events and the protracted and complex nature of crises are heralding a shift towards linking development cooperation more closely to addressing such crises. These priorities are fully aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, but changing aidallocation patterns may create funding gaps in countries most in need of long-term support, such as LDCs, and in areas critical to leaving no one behind. In this context, the Addis Agenda recognizes the importance of coherence of development and humanitarian finance. 

The Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration established by the Secretary-General as part of United Nations reforms has worked to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus. The Committee provides ongoing support to country leadership in implementing the New Way of Working to ensure that humanitarian assistance efforts and longer-term sustainable development programmes are more coherent and joined up with a view to achieving collective outcomes to reduce need, risk and vulnerability.

read more

The Agenda for Humanity prescribed by the Secretary-General calls for a New Way of Working that includes three fundamental shifts:

  • Working towards collective outcomes that transcend humanitarian-development divides.
  • Working collaboratively based on comparative advantage of diverse actors (as relevant to the context, not merely institutional mandates).
  • Working over multi-year timeframes, recognizing the reality of protracted crises and aiming to contribute to longer-term development gains, in the logic of the SDGs.

These same shifts have implications for the way programming is financed – particularly in fragile states. Collective outcomes would allow both humanitarian and development actors to focus around medium term goals that contribute to the SDGs. This includes shifting programming, especially in countries in protracted crises, to promote preparedness, reduce risk, reduce vulnerabilities and develop local capacities to respond – areas that require a more sophisticated blended mix of both humanitarian and development sources.

To that end, the Secretary-General’s Report for the World Humanitarian Summit called for financing that would support collective outcomes, calling on relevant actors to “ensure predictable and adequate resourcing of collective outcomes in protracted and fragile situations and meet the need to provide a full range of financing options to a more diverse set of actors.”  The Summit called for a new platform or finance instruments that would move beyond traditional grants, including concessional financing, loan guarantees, risk insurance catastrophic bonds, technical assistance and other relevant instruments.


Peacebuilding Fund

In line with the Resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council on Sustaining Peace, the Peacebuilding Fund has continued to invest to prevent violent conflict, encourage resolution or further escalation during conflict as well as help societies recover and rebuild following conflict. The Fund allocated USD 52 million in 2015 and may allocate up to  USD 60 million in 2016 supporting 128 projects in 30 countries.